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Know about sunflowers for gardens

There’s an emerging trend for sunflowers in the Philippines. As a money-making opportunity, sunflower varieties are targeted for home gardens. It is unlike in foreign countries where the crop is grown commercially in wide areas for the production of seeds for human consumption and for bird seed. Sunflower oil is also extracted from the seeds.

The trend in the Philippines works fine. That’s because even the micro-entrepreneurs can participate in the business. And that is helping achieve what the politicians are mouthing as “inclusive economic growth.” Of course, corporate operators can also grow the garden sunflowers for the bigger markets.

Four varieties are becoming the favorites of growers of garden sunflowers for three purposes. One is for landscaping not only in the home but also in resorts, commercial building premises, golf courses and the like. Another is for the production potted plants for sale that are also used as portable decoration for various occasions. And the third is as cut flower for floral arrangement.

  • MULTI-FLOWRED SUNFLOWER – Sunflowers that are most commonly seen are plants with single big flower head. You can produce sunflower plants with multiple flowers. The technique is to plant over-aged seedlings, say two months old or older. Such seedlings will develop multiple flowers from the base up to the top. This technique was showcased in an open house last year at the experimental farm of Allied Botanical Corporation in Tayug, Pangasina.

    MULTI-FLOWRED SUNFLOWER – Sunflowers that are most commonly seen are plants with single big flower head. You can produce sunflower plants with multiple flowers. The technique is to plant over-aged seedlings, say two months old or older. Such seedlings will develop multiple flowers from the base up to the top. This technique was showcased in an open house last year at the experimental farm of Allied Botanical Corporation in Tayug, Pangasina.

  • DWARF SUNFLOWERS – One variety that is perfect for growing in pots is the Sunbright Kids sunflower. The plant is barely 6 to 8 inches tall that produces large flowers. Enterprising nurserymen or plant hobbyists can produce potted plants for sale through plant shops, weekend markets, garden shows and other places. One potted plant fetches P100 or more.

    DWARF SUNFLOWERS – One variety that is perfect for growing in pots is the Sunbright Kids sunflower. The plant is barely 6 to 8 inches tall that produces large flowers. Enterprising nurserymen or plant hobbyists can produce potted plants for sale through plant shops, weekend markets, garden shows and other places. One potted plant fetches P100 or more.

  • VINCENT’S FRESH VARIETY – This one is good for landscaping, potted flowering plant production and for cut flower. The plant is of medium height and the big flower is marked with green center. It is one of four varieties that Allied Botanical is distributing. Growing sunflowers for sale is now becoming a good business.

    VINCENT’S FRESH VARIETY – This one is good for landscaping, potted flowering plant production and for cut flower. The plant is of medium height and the big flower is marked with green center. It is one of four varieties that Allied Botanical is distributing. Growing sunflowers for sale is now becoming a good business.

  • VISITORS POSING WITH POTTED SUNFLOWERS – Photo shows visitors to the annual open house of Allied Botanical Corporation posing with potted sunflowers for sale. Growing potted sunflowers can be a money-making project for enterprising home gardeners, nurserymen and even corporate farm operators. The beauty about this project is that even the small gardeners can engage in the business. Very minimal capital is needed. What is important is to learn the fine points of growing the plant.

    VISITORS POSING WITH POTTED SUNFLOWERS – Photo shows visitors to the annual open house of Allied Botanical Corporation posing with potted sunflowers for sale. Growing potted sunflowers can be a money-making project for enterprising home gardeners, nurserymen and even corporate farm operators. The beauty about this project is that even the small gardeners can engage in the business. Very minimal capital is needed. What is important is to learn the fine points of growing the plant.

  • VINCENT’S POMELO SUNFLOWER – This variety has a yellow center. It is good for landscaping, cut flower production and for potted plant production. As cut flower for floral arrangement, sunflowers are longer-lasting than other cut flowers because the flowers are not pollinated. Because of their size and bright yellow color, sunflowers are very attractive whether used for landscaping or for floral arrangement.

    VINCENT’S POMELO SUNFLOWER – This variety has a yellow center. It is good for landscaping, cut flower production and for potted plant production. As cut flower for floral arrangement, sunflowers are longer-lasting than other cut flowers because the flowers are not pollinated. Because of their size and bright yellow color, sunflowers are very attractive whether used for landscaping or for floral arrangement.

Three varieties are for landscaping as well as for cut flower production. They are not as tall as the varieties for seed production. Most of them are just less than a meter. That is fine because they are more manageable than the very tall ones. The three are almost of the same height. One variety, Vincent’s Pomelo, has light yellow petals with yellow center. The second is Vincent’s Fresh which has darker petals with green center. And the third is Vincent’s Choice lighter yellow petals with dark center. The three are equally attractive and are equally well liked by growers.

A fourth garden sunflower is a really dwarf one. It is called Sunbright Kids and stands at only six to eight inches tall with big flower head. This is particularly good for the production of potted sunflower. One potted plant in bloom can fetch P100 or more, which is cheaper and better than an ordinary flower arrangement. It is better because it is a live plant that will not wither for weeks.

Rowena Bienes of Allied Botanical also explains that as cutflower, the sunflower lasts much longer than other varieties used for floral arrangements. The reason is that the flowers are not pollinated.

MULTIPLE FLOWERS – Most of us know that sunflowers produce single heads at the top of the plant. But did nou know that multiple flowers can be produced from the very bottom of the plant up to the very top? How is that done? Miss Bienes of Allied Botanical says that it is very easy. All you have to do is delay the planting of the seedlings in the ground. Plant old seedlings that are two months old or older.  Last year, Allied Botanical had showcased the technique at its annual open house in Tayug, Pangasinan where the company has a 23-hectare experimental farm.

Well, if that is grown in a pot, more buyers may go for it because it is something unusual. There is one more advantage, according to Ms. Bienes. Say, you cut the upper two feet portion of the plant with multiple flowers, you just attach an appropriate ribbon and voila! You have an beautiful bouquet for graduation and for other occasions.

LECTURE ON FRUIT TREES TOMORROW -  We will be conducting a lecture on “Growing Fruit Trees in the Urban Setting” at the Hortikultura garden show at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City. This will be from 2 to 4 p.m.

The daily lectures that cover various topics is a feature of the Hortikultura 2016 which started on February 5 and will run through Monday, February 15.